A NORTH Clare councillor has again called for signs directing motorists to Ruan. Councillor Joe Arkins made the call at a recent Ennistymon Electoral Area meeting after a Tidy Towns inspector reported they had difficulty finding the village.
The electoral area chairman told the meeting the adjudicator was fortunate the local gymkhana was taking place during the visit, as the only sign that could be found was a small handwritten piece of timber on the ground at a junction about two kilometres out of Barefield.
The adjudicator report stated, “Ruan is very difficult to find and your adjudicator suggests it be finger-post signed from the motorway and surrounding villages.
“A fingerpost sign should be placed about two kilometres out of Barefield, in addition to the one in Barefield and another one beside Dormer Nature Reserve sign, which is on the road out of Crusheen.
“Signage on the motorway would be helpful also if possible. Well done on an excellent presentation; your adjudicator looks forward to future visits when hopefully Ruan will be easier to find,” the report stated.
Councillor Arkins proposed advance motorway signage at Barefield and Crusheen; signs at Barefield and Crusheen roundabouts; fingerpost signs at Barefield Cross, Drumconora Cross and a larger sign at the N18 intersection at Crusheen.
The Fine Gael Councillor said he had tabled motions requesting signage for Ruan on at least two occasions before the adjudicator identified this deficit.
Senior executive engineer, Stephen Lahiffe stated the National Roads Authority designed the signage for the M18, while Clare and Galway County Council were consulted on the design at the time.
“Since then there has been numerous requests for the inclusion of towns, villages and tourist attractions on the M18 road signage.
“It is not possible to include every destination and comply with the requirements of the Traffic Signs Manual. In general, the criteria used by the NRA seek to provide clear information focusing on termination destination on the routes accessed off motorway junctions and these criteria would not accommodate Ruan.
“However, each submission for inclusion would be considered on its merits and may be included when the NRA makes alterations to the road signage in the future.
“With regard to signage from the regional and local road network, Clare County Council will examine the existing signage and propose additions. The council is favourably disposed to the erection of additional signage at Barefield and Crusheen, subject to resources being made available.
“We will consult with the Ennis Roads Area, as much of the required signage is located in the Ennis area,” he said.
Councillor Arkins asked if the council has enough money to provide a “few signs for Ruan”.
Mr Lahiffe explained the council doesn’t have a specific budget allocation for signage but will try to find some money for signage for Ruan once 2013 budget allocations become known.
Councillor Arkins proposed the council should write to the NRA expressing its support for extra signage on the motorway.
Councillor Michael Kelly criticised the fact that motorists have to drive from Gort to Ennis on the motorway before they can view any sign for the Burren.
The Fianna Fáil councillor claimed the NRA took no cognisance or regard for the wishes of local councillors and seemed to act as if it was the only authority with a “divine right” to decide on issues like signage at local level.
Councillor Arkins proposed that this matter should be put on the agenda for the November meeting, which would give Mr Lahiffe adequate time to consider the budget and whether the council could afford to erect a few new signs for Crusheen.